By Rachel Peck
In the past few years, we’ve seen an increase in technology blending into aspects of our work, personal and home life. From smart home devices, to new ways of storing data and programs to optimize our workflows. At Eclipse Media Group, where we provide PR and marketing support to technology minded companies, we have begun to see an evolution where the technologies used by our tech clients work has begun to benefit our everyday lives. As we move forward, we anticipate seeing more of these technologies talked about outside of the general technology industry – as our work and personal lives continue to evolve post-pandemic. Here are some tech terms you should know:
Probably one of the most well-known tech terms, Artificial intelligence (AI) is most often described as a technology that mimics human intelligence and has been the scapegoat in many dystopian and sci-fi stories. However, it’s not that simple. AI is essentially a set of algorithms, one of them being Machine Learning (more below), that feed data into a program helping it to learn tasks, behaviors and trends. In essence, we use AI every day, through smart assistants such as Siri and Amazon’s Alexa to our suggested spelling in Google.
According to MIT Technology Review, Machine Learning algorithms find patterns in data, such as numbers, words, images and clicks. When you’re browsing Spotify or Netflix and you’re shown a “We think you’d like this” list – that’s Machine Learning at work. It’s used in nearly every streaming service and social media platform we use, by collecting data about what genres we watch, what ads we view, what posts we react too, and then guesses what we might want next, based on the information it’s learned.
A big topic of conversation in 2020/2021 has been touchless technologies, which seek to reduce the number of surfaces, doorknobs, etc. that we touch throughout the day. If you work in a building that requires an access card – or even need a key card to park your car – you might one day no longer need to swipe a card to gain access. For parking spaces, license plate recognition technology offers a form of touchless entry, allowing you to enter, park and leave without having to exchange any money, or “touch” anything. The same goes for entry into a building – whether work or your residence, which might see a shift to a mobile app to gain access.
This has also been another popular topic in recent years. Not to be confused with touchless, frictionless technology seeks to remove “steps” from a user’s experience, making the process as fast and streamlined as possible. For example, your smartphone unlocking with your fingerprint or face is a form of frictionless access. In retail, “one-click” ordering on Amazon or online shopping for friction from the shopping experience. Marketplace options on Instagram could be an example of frictionless – removing steps a user needs to complete on the path to purchase and raising the probability of a purchase.